AS WELL-known for his dreadlocks as for his melting-pot music, Idan Raichel is doing very well compared to some of his musical colleagues. Raichel, who is contracted to Helicon Records, has sold in excess of 300,000 discs to date. His albums, with their ethnic overtones, are no less popular abroad than they are in Israel and have earned him platinum and gold awards. The sales are particularly impressive during an economic recession and when people are more inclined to download music from the Internet than to buy discs.
STRIKE ONE eligible entertainment industry bachelor off the list. Only a few days after proposing to Miri Levi and placing a large diamond on her finger, singer-musician Pablo Rosenberg celebrated his 44th birthday at the High Windows club in Tel Aviv. Among the guests were two other members of the entertainment industry who reentered the list of eligible bachelors in the past year and a half: Rami Kleinstein, who split from Rita in September 2007 after 20 years of marriage, and Aki Avni, whose seven-year marriage to Sandy Bar broke up last year.
NO FEWER than 18 people applied to take over the position recently vacated by Gary Bilu as director of the Beit Zvi Drama School. The list of candidates has now been whittled down to eight, and a decision will be made immediately after Pessah. Bilu, who was associated with Beit Zvi for 26 years, resigned after differences with the board of management. The eight people on the short list include Oded Feldman, who currently heads a production company but previously headed the Cameri Theater and has been involved in numerous cultural activities; Amit Gazit, who was previously artistic director of the Khan Theater and Beit Lessin, and who taught drama at the Thelma Yellin School; Moshe Kaftan, the artistic director of Mediatheque Holon; and the prize-winning director of mega productions and musicals Arthur Kogan, who teaches at Beit Zvi; Oded Kotler, who is one of Israel's leading actors, a founder of the Acre Festival, a former artistic director of the Haifa Theater and a former artistic director of the Israel Festival; Micha Levinson who was director of the Haifa Theater and the artistic director of the Israel Festival; stage and screen director Uri Paster, who previously worked as a teacher and director at Beit Zvi; and Uriel Zohar, playwright, stage director and lecturer at the Technion.
YEAR IN and year out, the National Water Authority warns us of the depletion of water in the country in general and Lake Kinneret in particular, but not many people seem to pay heed. Even that horrendous commercial of the cracking face of a beautiful model didn't seem to do the trick. But perhaps Bar Refaeli, Eyal Kitzis, Ninet Tayeb and Menashe Noi, who are among the celebrities who will appear in new commercials for water conservation, will succeed where others have failed.
HONESTY IS not always the best policy, as Ivri Lider has discovered. The singer has never made a secret of his sexual orientation, but had he remained in the closet, he might not have had to face the consequences of Petah Tikva's religious leaders demanding that the municipality cancel his appearance for the city's Independence Day celebrations. Lider was contracted to give the main performance. The religious leaders say that if the municipality does not find another performer in his stead, many people will stay away and the holiday that is supposed to be a festive day for everyone will be a day of sorrow for some. The decision to hire Lider was that of Mayor Yitzhak Ohayon.
CELEBRITY PASTRY chef Dudu Outmezgin outdid himself at the joint birthday party of Tzipi Shavit and Hani Nahmias, who owned up to being 62 and 50, respectively. Outmezgin prepared two giant birthday cakes, each bearing a sugar image of the two entertainers. Shavit's image was surrounded by images of children, because she is known to be fond of them, while Nahmias's cake was surrounded by images of dogs. Some 60 friends, most of them celebs, showed up to toast the two honorees as well as to gorge themselves on all the other goodies that Outmezgin had prepared. Among the guests were Yuval Caspin, who stubbornly insisted on eating the nose of Shavit's image, Tzedi Tzarfati, Orna and Moshe Datz, who came separately because they are no longer a couple, Leah and Yoram Globus and Kobi Oshrat.
SHAVIT WAS also among the numerous celebrities who attended and contributed to the Larger Than Life benefit that celebrated the 50th anniversary of Barbie. The event at Dizengoff Center was attended by Assaf Ashtar, who knows the lyrics to almost every Hebrew song ever written, fashion designer Pnina Tornai, actress-model Adi Himelbloy, actress and singer Nitza Shaul, many other entertainers and well-known personalities from the business world. Tornai, along with Gideon Oberson, Raziela, Metzada Ze'evi, Dana Ashkenazi and other designers, contributed garments to sell, with all the proceeds going to Larger Than Life, which helps children with cancer to realize some of their dreams.